A cross to bear

New tale about the cost of fleeing from your past is haunting and beautiful



Pajtim Statovci/ Pushkin Press

The mesmerisin­g new novel from the Finnish- Kosovan author of My Cat Yugoslavia. Bujar’s world is collapsing. His father is dying and his home land, Albania, is plagued by hunger and unrest. When his friend Agim is discovered wearing his mother’s red dress and beaten with his father’s belt, he persuades Bujar that there is no place for them in their country. Desperate for a chance to shape their own lives, they flee. This is the beginning of a journey across cities, borders and identities, from the bazaars of Tirana to the monuments of Rome and the drag bars of New York. Pursued by memories of home and echoes of folk tales, they risk losing themselves in the struggle to leave their pasts behind. Beautiful, haunting and brilliant. Translated by David Hackston. Out 2 May

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